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ASEAN Summit Boosts Cooperation on Disaster Management, Haze Monitoring, Develops Post-2015 Vision

Asean10 October 2013: The 23rd Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) issued a number of declarations agreeing to increase cooperation on disaster management and transboundary haze monitoring, as well as to further develop the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision.

Ministers adopted a Declaration on Enhancing Cooperation in Disaster Management, which affirms the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) as a common platform for action. The Declaration supports: an enhanced planning framework with deeper stakeholder participation; plans for a Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management and a forthcoming Partnership Conference in Hanoi, Viet Nam, in November 2013; and further operationalization of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA).

The Chair's Statement issued at the conclusion of the Summit encourages effective implementation of the ASEAN Action Plan on Joint Response on Climate Change, with particular attention to vulnerable groups in adaptation efforts. In the Statement, the Chair supports the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan on Water Resource Management, and welcomes the outcome of the May 2013 Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

At the meeting, Ministers further agreed to set up an ASEAN Sub-regional Haze Monitoring System, noting that trilateral meetings among Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have taken place. In addition, in his Statement, the Chair looks forward to Indonesia's ratification of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.

The group issued the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision, agreeing to further develop “the central elements” of the vision for endorsement by the next summit in 2014, and to establish a senior officials' working group to oversee an ongoing process. The Chair's Statement also notes agreement to strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat and review the various ASEAN organs, through establishment of a High-Level Task Force for this purpose.

An East Asia Summit (EAS) was held back-to-back with the ASEAN Summit, which took place from 9-10 October 2013, in Brunei. The EAS brought together representatives from the ten ASEAN members and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Russian Federation and the US. The EAS issued a Declaration on Food Security, agreeing to: increase consistency and transparency among agricultural market information systems; better integrate smallholders and women farmers and fishers into global supply chains; expand marine and agricultural research; expand regional fisheries management cooperation; encourage protection of natural ecosystems and biodiversity preservation; reduce post-consumer food waste; and build resilience to climate change. [Chair's Statement] [ASEAN Declaration on Enhancing Cooperation in Disaster Management] [Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision] [EAS Declaration on Food Security] [UN Press Release]